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Message from the Superintendent

Rick Letterhead.png

 

Dear SRVUSD Staff and Parents,

 

If you’ve read my columns, you know I align my personal new year with each new school year. But among the many great things about working in education is that we get a second shot at a new year on January 1. For many of us, the arrival of a fresh calendar year allows for reflection on the past with an eye toward the future.

 

We had a lot of wonderful things take place over the first semester. Our students are demonstrating gains academically and in their talents as entrepreneurs, artists, humanitarians, athletes and leaders.

 

The public releases this fall of the state standardized test scores and the new California School Dashboard show that our students continue to grow academically. They will graduate from SRVUSD prepared for college and careers. In December, our school community received further accolades from the College Board. SRVUSD is the only school district in California — and just one of two in the U.S. and Canada — to be named to the College Board’s Annual AP District Honor Roll for all eight years of the program.

 

In celebrating our success, it is important to note several achievements by our students. Cole Marshall at Monte Vista High School has been named one of 26 young people from across the nation to participate in the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common’s Youth Advisory Board. The Dougherty Valley High School Women’s Golf Team placed in the top 5 out of 600 teams in California. Award-winning baker and Los Cerros Middle School student Ryan Wilson demonstrated how to make Christmas tree cupcakes on The Hallmark Channel’s popular “Home & Family” show. California High School students received the Outstanding Large Delegation Crystal Gavel Award at the 27th annual Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference. Austin Chan, a 2016 MVHS graduate and his brother, Kyle, a junior at MVHS, created a mobile app to help students with learning disabilities. The app, CanDue, assists students with executive function challenges including analyzing, planning, prioritizing, scheduling and remembering assignments and tasks.

 

These are just a handful of examples of the excellence taking place in our District. We’ve had positive growth in other ways as well. We continue a strong focus on Cultural Responsiveness as we work to ensure that all staff, students and parents come to our schools knowing they provide safe and positive environments. Throughout the fall, we offered a speaker’s series. We also formed a Community Action Group for Cultural Responsiveness, comprised of over 50 representatives from a cross-section of the San Ramon Valley community. The group is focused on supporting our students beyond the classroom as they navigate unconscious biases and seek acceptance as individuals.

 

We continue to benefit from the enormous support of our generous community. This year, the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation awarded over 175 grants to our schools — totaling almost $300,000. This is on top of the incredible support provided by each of our schools’ individual Education Foundations and PTAs.

 

Throughout our District, you will see Measure D funds hard at work. Take a bike ride down the Iron Horse Trail in Danville and you will see a 52 academic classroom, 3-story building rising from the San Ramon Valley High School campus. The framing of Stone Valley Middle School’s new 29 classroom building and MPR building is nearly complete. Plans are being approved by the State Architect’s Office for the modernization of 8 campuses, the first half of which are scheduled to start this summer.  The eight modernization projects include: Golden View, Green Valley, Montevideo, Rancho Romero, Sycamore, Twin Creeks and Vista Grande elementary schools, as well as Charlotte Wood Middle School. California High School’s science building improvements are complete and we are finalizing plans for additional work to the school’s commons and kitchen. These are just a handful of the Measure D projects. More information can be found at http://www.buildsrvschools.org/.

 

At Tuesday night’s Board Meeting, the Board of Education approved a two-year calendar. Click here to view those calendars. Also on Tuesday, staff updated the Board of Education on the Personalized Learning ideas as listed on our website. I am grateful for the time, energy and thought our many stakeholders put into discussing and refining these ideas, and for the Board’s’ commitment to supporting the overall well-being of our students, increased family options and smaller class sizes.

 

As we look to the future, we face some challenges. For the first time in recent history, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District faces declining enrollment. While enrollment at our high schools will continue at a steady growth pattern over the next five or six years, we are experiencing a decline in the number of elementary-age students enrolling in our schools.

 

For school districts, declining enrollment equates to less revenue. As we look to the future, we will consider creative ideas to address these concerns. One area for analysis is school attendance. Each day a student misses school, SRVUSD loses $66 in revenue. We will be sending out more information about the importance of school attendance in the coming months.

 

As we begin a new calendar year, I want to end by telling you how grateful I am to work and live in a community that demonstrates such strong support of public education. Thank you for all that you do to support our students.

 

Regards,

 

Rick Schmitt

Superintendent

Non-Discrimination Statement

San Ramon Valley Unified School District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression; or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

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